Muslim-Friendly Kyoto

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Kyoto in Japan is probably one of the most visited places for many travellers from around the world. Over the years, Kyoto has also seen an increase in Muslim travellers from Malaysia, Brunei and also Indonesia.

As some of you may already know that you can visit Kyoto on a day trip, but it is best to stay a couple of nights here in one of the most historical cities in Japan. Usually, travellers that go to Kyoto are mainly from the city of Osaka, which is the main gateway for visitors.

While many will opt to stay in Osaka for a few days and then head to Kyoto for a night or two, Muslim travellers prefer to make Osaka their base due to the Muslim-friendly facilities found here. But the good news is that there are also, in fact, a number of Muslim-friendly facilities in Kyoto.

Malaysians who visited Japan in 2016 totalled up to almost 400,000 people while there were around 271,000 Indonesians who visited Japan in the same year.

Japanese souvenirs from Kyoto.


What Muslim Travellers Seek When Travelling To Japan?

There are a few key factors that Muslim travellers look for and they include:

  • Halal food
  • Prayer facilities

  • Ramadan services

  • Water-friendly washrooms

  • No non-halal activities

  • Recreational facilities & services with privacy

Kyoto is one of the prefectures that have adhered to these factors since 1987, which in turn has increased the Muslim-friendly facilities all over the city of Kyoto. The Kyoto Muslim Association or KMA is probably the group to thank for making Kyoto a Muslim-friendly destination.

With Kyoto being one of the top five Muslim-friendly destinations in Japan, many hotels, resorts, ryokan’s, museums, public places and restaurants have changed their concept to be Muslim-friendly.

Some of these places are 100% Muslim-friendly while others provide Muslim-friendly facilities and the visitor should check with the place if it provides full or semi service for Muslims. This means that some places provide the entire package, and some only half, with no halal menu.

For anyone planning to visit Japan, namely the Kyoto area, below is a list of places that are Muslim-friendly.

One of the beautiful temples in Kyoto.

Muslim Friendly Hotels in Kyoto

The hotels listed below provide Muslim-friendly facilities in Kyoto, therefore, they are your best options for accommodation when you visit here.

Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Mecca orientation chart, prayer mats, Quran available by request. Certified halal menus are available at any time between 11:00 AM and 11:00 PM at Cafe Restaurant Le Temps.
Website: http://granviakyoto.com/

Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto
Prayer mats available. Banquet halls and private rooms available for use depending on availability. For food, separate dishes available and ingredient requests are also available.
Website: http://www.princess-kyoto.co.jp/english/

The main lobby of the Kyoto Century Hotel.

Kyoto Century Hotel
Prayer mats and female prayer dress available. Food is certified halal by Muslim Association of Kyoto.
Website: http://www.kyoto-centuryhotel.co.jp/english/

The Westin Miyako, Kyoto
Prayer mats and Mecca orientation chart available. Muslim friendly food is available at Cafe Restaurant Aqua Blu in the hotel.
Website: http://www.westin.com/kyoto

Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Separate kitchen preparation and dishes available. Ingredient requests available.
Website: http://kyoto.regency.hyatt.com

Karasa Hotel in Kyoto.

Karasa Hotel Kyoto I
Prayer room on the 2nd floor which is for hotel Muslim guests.
Website: https://karaksahotels.com/

Kyoto Hotel Okura
Halal ingredients requests available.
Website: http://okura.kyotohotel.co.jp/english/

View of the Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa.

Kyoto Royal Hotel & Spa
Muslim-friendly meals are available but must be arranged on the same day of dining.
Website: http://www.ishinhotels.com/kyoto-royal/en/

Kyoto Traveler’s Inn
Prayer mats available. No halal menu.
Website: http://www.k-travelersinn.com/english/index.html

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
For halal meals, separate dishes and ingredient requests are available.
Website: http://www.rihga.com/

For smaller accommodations like ryokans and guesthouses, you will need to check online for them as there is a growing number catering to Muslim-friendly budget travellers. Every day, a new one may change and cater to this.


Inside the Kyoto Mosque.

Mosque, Surau and Prayer Rooms in Kyoto

Another important element for Muslim travellers are the prayer rooms and these are also looked into and you can find a number of them all over Kyoto. However, you should probably use the Kyoto Muslim Friendly App on your smart phone.

There is also the main Masjid Kyoto in the city centre for Muslims who want to do your Friday prayers. Below is a list of places around Kyoto that you can find the Masjid, Surau and Prayer rooms.

  • Masjid Kyoto
  • Kyoto International Community House
  • Kawaramachi Sanjo Tourist Information Center
  • Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, Fureaikan
  • Nijo-jo Castle, Lecture room
  • 100% Halal Ramen Gion Naritaya
  • Ayam-YA
  • Kansai Tourist Information Center Kyoto
  • Kyoto Cooking School (Kyoto Halal Network Association)
  • Kyoto University of Foreign Studies
  • LAOX Kyoto Marui Store
  • Ninja-do
  • Ninja Dojo and Store

Naritaya’s Halal Beef Yakiniku.

Finding Halal Food in Kyoto

And the most important element of all is the halal food in Kyoto. Everyone needs to eat, and finding halal food in Japan is not easy. Well, unless you are the type that enjoys eating Kebabs or walking into a Pakistani or Middle Eastern restaurant, then it will be more convenient.

However, for the Malaysian or Southeast Asian Muslim traveller, priority goes to finding the right halal food. The trend of wanting to sample traditional Japanese food is one of the main reasons, and hence a number of restaurants offer halal versions of Japanese cuisine.

I will be honest with you as 20 years ago when I was living and working in Tokyo, I used to always come across halal restaurants and cafes, operated by Muslim foreigners who set up businesses there. It was easily available 20 years ago, but Southeast Asian travellers can be a little demanding, hence the growth of these other halal places.

There are few types of halal restaurants found all over Kyoto. This also depends on what type of Muslim-friendly restaurant you want to try. They are broken up into four main categories which are:

  • 100% Halal Restaurants – All food is halal and the menu or shop door has the halal logo.
  • Muslim-Friendly Restaurants – Special halal menus are provided here.
  • Muslim Welcome Restaurants – No pork or pork-related items, and no alcoholic flavouring.
  • Pork-free Restaurants – No pork is served here.

Halal Ramen is popular among the Muslim travellers.

100% Halal Restaurants in Kyoto

Halal Ramen Gion Naritaya (Ramen Noodles)
Address: Ability Gion bldg. 1F, 424, Rinka-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0062, Japan
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Website: https://www.facebook.com/gionnaritaya

Halal Yakiniku Naritaya
Address: Rinka-cho 424-2 1st Floor, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan 605-0062
Opening Hours: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM (lunch), 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM (dinner)
Website: http://www.naritayajp.com/

Istanbul Saray (Turkish)
Address: 3F Matsuki Bldg., 534-28 Ebisu-cho, Kawaramachi Sanjo-Agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 604-8005
Opening Hours: 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM (Weekdays), 12:00 PM – 3:30 PM & 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM (Weekends and holidays)
Website: http://www.istanbul-saray.com/

Raju Kyodai-mae (Indian)
Address: 95 Tanaka Monzencho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 606-8225
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM (lunch), 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM (dinner)
Website: http://rajusalman.jimdo.com/

Raju Yamashina (Indian)
Address: 1-1 Shinomiyakandacho, Yamashina-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 607-8035
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (lunch), 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM (dinner)
Website: http://rajusalman.jimdo.com/

Raju Halal Indian Food in Kyoto.

Muslim-Friendly Restaurants in Kyoto

Cafe Amber Court
Type: Continental Food
Address: Karasuma Takatsuji Higashi-iru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 600-8096
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Website: http://www.okura-nikko.com/japan/kyoto/hotel-nikko-princess-kyoto/dining/#hotel-nikko-princess-kyoto

Cafe Restaurant “Le temps”, Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Type: Continental Food
Address: JR Kyoto Station Central Gate, Karasuma-dori Shiokoji-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 600-8216
Opening Hours: 6:30 AM – 12:00 AM
Website: http://www.granviakyoto.com/dining/letemps.html

Century Hotel Japanese Cuisine Rantei
Type: Kyo Kaiseki
Address: 680 Higashi Shiokoji, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 600-8216
Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 9:30 PM
Website: http://www.kyoto-centuryhotel.co.jp/english/

Some of the Halal food at Honke Tankuma Honten in Kyoto.

Honke Tankuma Honten
Type: Kyo Kaiseki
Address: 168, Izumiya-cho, Kiyamachi-dori, Bukkoji-Sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM (lunch), 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM (dinner)
Website: http://www.tankuma.jp/

Junsei Okabeya
Type: Tofu cuisine
Address: Kiyomizudera Monzen, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 605-0862
Opening Hours: 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Website: http://www.okabeya.com/index.html

Kyoto University Coop Cafeteria Rune
Type: Kebab
Address: University Coop Seibu Kaikan, Yoshida Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 606-8501
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM (Weekdays), 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Saturdays)
Website: http://www.s-coop.net/shop_info/yoshida_west/cafe_rune/

Minokichi New Hankyu Hotel Kyoto
Type: Kyo Kaiseki
Address: B1 Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto, Shiokoji Shinmachi Higashi-iru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 600-8216
Opening Hours: 11:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Website: http://www.japanese-kyoto-cuisine.com/

Yakiniku from Nanzan Kyoto Kitayama.

Nanzan Kyoto Kitayama
Type: Yakiniku
Address: Kitayama Notre Dame Mae, 31 Shimogamo Kitanononogami-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto city 606-0846
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Website: http://www.nanzan-net.com/

Ukihashi, Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Type: Japanese cuisine and Kyo Kaiseki
Address: JR Kyoto Station Central Gate, Karasuma-dori Shiokoji-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Website: http://www.granviakyoto.com/dining/ukihashi.html

Yoshiya Okunoniwa Japanese
Type: Kyoto-Saga Cuisine and Cafe
Address: 31 Tsukurimichi-cho Saga Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto city
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Website: http://www.yosiya.jp/okunoniwa/

Yoshiya Okunoniwa in Kyoto.

For the Muslim Welcome Restaurants and Pork-free Restaurants in Kyoto, you need to get the Kyoto Muslim-Friendly Guide Map from the Kyoto Tourism Information Center or any tourist information centre. Alternatively, you can also walk around and look at the signs in front of the restaurants and cafes.

David Hogan Jr
David Hogan Jr
A multiple award-winning travel writer, blogger and social media enthusiast. He has been traveling to Japan since 1990 and all over the world for his work. His work has been featured on CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Lonely Planet and many other publications. David writes at: http://malaysia-asia.my and is on social media platforms as @MalaysiaAsia

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